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Thread: Advice

  1. #1
    Guest

    Advice

    I started to tell my story in the 'Members Intro' thread, but I'll give a quick recap. I was injured when riding with a drunk driver and my girlfriend was killed. I had to be resuscitated at the scene, but the driver walked away almost without a scratch. The driver was also her brother. In the 18 months since the tradgedy, he has served a jail sentence, fallen in love, and is engaged to be married. He rarely talks to me but he did ask me to be in the wedding. I haven't given him an answer yet - that's my dilemma. Although it wasn't his intention, he is still ultimately responsible for her death and my paralysis. Therefore, I find it hard to be happy for him when he has caused me so much sadness. Like I said, he rarely talks to me and shows little remorse. What would some of you do??

    Erin - if you're reading this, thanks for the words of kindness. I know Tana is still with me, but it's still hard.

  2. #2

    cjo33...

    I am going to email you privately...but I also wanted to give you my opinion on the wedding...

    Well...

    Ultimately, it is up to you...but...

    If you really think about it...I bet this guy even though he shows little remorse really IS sorry about what happened. Even though all this sci, and Tana's passing happened to YOU...he also has had a lot of things to deal with. Maybe he feels guilty...I can't say...

    But you need to ask yourself a couple of questions...

    Will I regret being in this wedding?
    Will I regret NOT being in this wedding?

    If it will "smooth things over" somehow...then I say do it!

    That's just my take on the situation...hope I made sense...

    God bless you!

    Teena

  3. #3

    hmm

    Thats alot like my friends, are whatever you want to called them... You cant kill them/him cause you be a lockdown wheeler in a 6x10, plus sci and bars, that some more shit.. Try not to dwell. Im still piss about lil remorse or none my friends showed.... As it sound to me hes a cold-heart bitch, he killed is sister, now on the verge of getting married....Then had the nerve to ask you to be in the wedding. Damn, thats real file.If i was you i would wait outside and run him over... Really i couldnt be in his wedding, i bet he will be pissy drunk at the wedding... I'LL POST MY STORY AND DILEMMA..
    MAD HAS SPOKEN..

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
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    cjo

    I think he cannot help but feel guilty. She was his sister. If you don't talk with him much it's probably because he hasn't come to grips with what's happened. You are a reminder of what happened.

    His new love takes his mind off of the horrible tragedy. He could be hiding inside the relationship.

    Your life has been turned upside down and inside out. His life has been affected, too. You are probably dealing with your devastation better than he is.

    If you're not close to him anymore then I don't think you're obliged to be in his wedding. I still think, however, that what's unsaid between you two is still a problem. Mostly for him. His sister's death on his hands is probably more than he can handle. You're one of the few people who could forgive him. It puts you both in a tenuous place. To seek your forgiveness he must admit his mistake. This brings a world of guilt down upon him. Easier for now just to avoid it.

    His motivaton for asking you to be in his wedding? It's a lot easier to ask you to be in the wedding than to really level with you. To face what he's done and talk about it. Just my take on the situation.

    I think after more time passes things could even out. Or not. The divide could get bigger. Could go either way.

    Do you have any ties to him other than his sister? If not you could just drift apart. If so, it would be worth reconciling this situation. It would be worth it, anyway. But not your whole responsibility. Still, avoiding regrets is a good thing to do, as Teena mentioned.

    Your situaton really resonates with me. I have a whole set of issues myself regarding my pre/post SCI life and what was happenning at the time of my accident. Let us know how it works out. I wish you the best.

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

  5. #5
    cjo33,

    With the basic information you have given, here is my take. When you and his sister (your love) got into the vehicle with him, did you know at the time he was drunk? If so, some of the responsibility belongs with you (and his sister who has passed on), however distastefull that may sound. My heart goes out to you. Not only for loosing the woman you loved, but also the injury you recieved. Seperating the emotion from the facts is difficult. As you said, he didn't crash intentionally. Though he did his time behind bars, the guilt he will have to live with the rest of his life will be a much heavy burden. I am in no way belittling the injury you recieved, or the loss of your love. I am just trying to tell you his own guilt can be just as strong. The real question is, would you like to attend his wedding? If not, forget it (the wedding) and say no thank you. If so, think of the questions you would ask him if you had the chance, get your thoughts clear and ask him to meet you for lunch. I suspect the reason for his not contacting you is his own guilt. After your meeting, you can make a decision whether to attend or not. You have every right to be angry at this point. It is part of the healing process. If you allow it to, the anger will consume you from the inside out, as will the regret/guilt for him. If not the now, hopefully sometime in the future, you two can get together and discuss this tragedy, as it would probably be beneficial for both of you. I hope you find the answers you are searching for.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Erin81079's Avatar
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    CJ033

    I really think that Jeff hit the nail on the head in every aspect. I am quite sure that you are dealing with this a lot better than he ever will. This wedding is almost surely a way of running from himself. This woman is replacing so much that he has lost, but his guilt will always be with him.

    My story is nothing compared to yours, but maybe this will help just a bit . A lot of my friends have drifted from me, because I ruin their night when I am with them. When I am out with them, I am a constant reminder of what happens when someone drinks and drives. They still do it; I know because they have all admitted it to me. They feel soooo guilty, and just like me, they think about the "what if's". They also don't want me to see them get in their cars after they have been drinking. I am a terrible reminder of what could happen to them; and for some people their biggest fear is paralysis, not death.

    Seeing you means that Tana's brother is seeing what he did every time he looks at you. This probably sends him into guilty rage inside. Being with you also reminds him that his sister is not here anymore, and the consequences of his actions. Their is soooooo much that he is hiding, and don't think for a minute that he doesn't feel guilty. This is all true unless this guy is a total A$$hole and has no emotions; if that's the case then I will find the guy myself and teach him a lesson!

    I think that you should do what your gut feeling tells you to do regarding his wedding, and nothing less. If it doesn't feel right to be in his wedding, then don't do it. I think the most difficult, yet the best thing to do is to forgive him, eventually. This may take some time, but hopefully it will at least release you from this hold he has on you. Time is the greatest healer, and this will take a long time I'm sure.

    I feel so deeply for your situation, being as I was the "drunk driver" in my accident. I have now quit drinking, and talk to underage DUI offenders, telling them my story. Hopefully I can save a life like Tana's one day. . . hopefully I already have. I thank God every day that I didn't kill or injure someone else. I don't know what would have happened to me if I had, I cannot fathom Tana's brother's pain. I sure as heck would not be handling my injury as well as I have been. Email me anytime you need to talk, I would be elated to be your friend. I am sorry that you have to go through this, but just know that you aren't alone and never have to be.

    (((((((((((((HERE'S A BIG HUG FROM ME, AND EVERYONE AT CARECURE)))))))))))))

  7. #7

    cjo33...

    I have read all the posts up to here...and I am agreeing with everybody that you and Tana's brother NEED to talk. I was thinking about you in church this morning...and I thought to myself...that the reason that her brother hasn't been in close touch with you could be that he feels soooooo awkward about everything...and it's up to you to make him feel ok about a face to face meeting...or at least a lengthy phonecall... Let HIM know you are sorry that HE lost HIS sister...that might help...I am sure he misses her.

    I am an only child...but if I had a brother or a sister, I can't imagine how close we would have been...

    I know I emailed you already that I lost my Mom last year...and I have had to face a few folks who meant well...but ultimately inserted their foot in their mouths by saying the wrong thing...or by trying to ignore the fact that she had died. And situations like that take some "walking on eggshells" to deal with...

    Maybe this wedding thing is one of those situations...but decide for yourself what you want to do...having lunch and talking sounds like a big step in the right direction...

    ERIN...Girlfriend...thanks for your comments...you can hold your head up proudly! You make me glad to be your friend!

    JEFF--Thanks for agreeing with me...on the regrets thing...you made me feel like I said something important...and I hope I did...

    MAD-PRODUCER...Friend...you sure are good at venting! I don't ever want to be on your mad side! >>smile!<< And post your story...I would like to read it...I want to know what happened to you because I care what happened...and we all care...that's why it is called CAREcure!

    Y'all take care, ok?

    Teena

    By the way...Cjo33, I did --not-- post this to make light of YOUR situation...I hope you know that much! Blessings...

    [This message was edited by teena on Oct 20, 2002 at 03:07 PM.]

  8. #8
    I don't know all the details, and this is just what I think I would do. I think I would not be in the wedding, and not even be a guest. It just seems like such a painful situation and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to handle it. I think I would have to not attend.

    I'm not a psychologist though, so don't listen to me! I'm just saying what I would do.

    What I really wanted to say though is that my thoughts are with you. I send you my best wishes.

  9. #9
    Guest

    More to the story...

    First of all, I apologize for starting a thread specifically about my situation. I'm not trying to be self-serving, but I value everybody's input and opinions.

    Erin-thanks for the hug, it's needed. Thank you all for your kind words.

    For those of you who might want to get bored with more details, keep reading...

    I started working for Tana's father on his farm almost as soon as we started dating. About this same time, her brother joined the army and was gone for four years. After we dated for awhile, we moved into a 2 bedroom farmhouse that her family owned. Fast forward until January 2001 - her brother gets out of the Army and moves in with us. This wasn't a big issue at the time, since Tana and I would be moving in June of that year. I was going to graduate in May(the accident was in April) and already had accepted a job in January.

    The night in question we were all at a bar downtown. When it closed, we went to an 'after bar' for one more drink with some friends. Her brother said he was leaving with or without us. We tried to get one of us to drive, but he refused. We lived 13.5 miles out of town, he made it 12.5 miles. Tana was sitting shotgun(I tried to be a gentlemen at all times) and I was in the back and thrown from the vehicle. I dropped the vehicular battery charge against him. When he came to hours later, his BAC was nearly twice as much as mine.

    Since he was gone most of the time Tana and I were dating, I really didn't know him that well. Before his trial, he was at the hospital frequently to see me. When he had work release from jail, he called once a week. My point is that he used to be very remorseful, but after he got out of jail he acts like nothing happened. The day he got his drivers' license back, he and his girlfriend moved back into the house where Tana and I lived. He has to drive by the scene of the accident on a daily basis. People have told me that he is happier now than he has ever been.

    I know that he and his family have gone through hell. Shakespeare talks about the difference in loving a family member versus a significant other in King Lear. The way you love a family member is vastly different than the way you love your spouse. Tana was the single most important person in my life, and we were going to spend the rest of our lives together. Her family went to the Cayman Islands last year for Christmas, and I got real sick of hearing how HARD their Christmas was when I spent mine in a wheelchair instead of on the beach.

    I'm sure it is hard for him to see me, but should I feel bad about this?

    There is a lot more to the story, but I welcome any feedback on what I've said thus far.

    Thanks for listening,
    Chris

  10. #10

    Mixed feelings

    I think for the sake of everyone involved you guys need to talk and get everything out. You don't necessarily have to be in his wedding, but you two do need to get your feelings out.

    One thing that was said really caught my attention. You said he was ultimately responsible for your disability, being he was driving drunk. But sweetie, you had the choice of riding with someone who was driving under the influence or calling a cab/family/friend, whatever. Don't hold too many hard feelings against this man. Yes, his drinking caused the accident, but it was your choice to ride with him.

    I understand what you are going through completely. I, myself, am disabled because of a drunk driver. A man was coming from a VFW party and was intoxicated. He came around a curve on the wrong side of the road and hit us. So I do know what it's like to be disabled because of someone's drinking.

    I'm truly and deeply sorry for the loss of your girlfriend. I hope you guys both do what will help you in the end.

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